It's almost as fun for kids to make their own snacks as it is for them to eat them! This pretzel recipe—adapted from one that my daughter brought home from school—is easy and perfect for small children to help with, and the results are pretty tasty, too. It's a great activity for rainy days and playgroups, too. Why not bake up a batch to eat during the big game this weekend?
They won't look like the dark brown store-bought pretzels, though; that color is achieved by dipping the unbaked pretzels in a lye solution, which is way too dangerous for kids—and adults, for that matter. Here we brush the tops with an egg wash, but if that's a problem you could use milk or even a little olive oil.
If you haven't been to the PlayLand indoor bounce house experience in the MLK Gym in Sausalito, it's definitely worth a visit, especially if it's rainy or cold and you can't play outside. PlayLand is a full-sized gymnasium full of inflatable bounce houses, including a 40-by-20-foot sports arena, a 15-foot slide, a bounce house with basketball hoop, and a toddler bounce zone.
My kids always have a blast playing here—sliding, jumping, bouncing, and playing games in a warm, safe, indoor environment. PlayLand was started by Marin dad Jeremy Williams, who also runs Mt. Tam Adventure Camps. He's often on site with several coaches who make sure that everyone has fun. During our last visit, a coach was making balloon animals for the kids, and there was even a remote controlled flying giant clownfish roaming the room. It's a fun and cool place to play in Marin.
Sculpting with Play-Doh is always a favorite activity with kids, and it can be even more fun to make your own quick, easy, and fun Play-Doh style modeling clay (AKA "playdough"), especially on a rainy day. You probably have most if not all of the ingredients sitting in your pantry right now.
To make your own dough, get the following ingredients together:
It's Thanksgiving week, and since most schools give kids the entire week off, you'll probably be looking for ways to keep them occupied before and after Turkey Day. Here are our top 10 activities for families for Thanksgiving break:
Pink is not only my daughter's favorite color, but also the subject of her favorite book, Pinkalicious, the children's best-seller by Elizabeth and Victoria Kann. You and your children can see the story retold on stage in Pinkalicious: The Musical beginning this Saturday when the Bay Area Children's Theatre opens its Broadway-style production at Berkeley's Freight & Salvage.
For Pinkalicious Pinkerton there is “one color like no other”—pink! But when she eats too many pink cupcakes, she develops a rare condition that turns her that color. There’s only one known cure: a steady dose of foods that are green. Will Pinkalicious eat her broccoli popsicles and return to normal?
Pinkalicious: The Musical, with music by John Gregor and lyrics by Gregor and the Kanns, has all the ingredients for a wonderful family treat. This glittering stage adaptation bounces from one upbeat Broadway-style number to the next, with tap dancing galore, as the peripatetic Pinkertons pilot precariously through their peculiar predicament.
Novato's Studio4Art celebrates not only its four-year anniversary, but also the opening of its new Annex, located directly behind the main studio! This new space will be used for parties, summer and holiday camps, workshops, and classes for children two years and up. The Annex will also serve as a gallery for student-created artwork and student art shows. The main studio will continue to be the place for drop-in art sessions as well as the retail area where customers can continue to find quality art supplies and unique art gifts.
Studio4Art has been serving Novato and surrounding communities in Marin and Sonoma County since it was opening in September of 2008 by owner Kebby McInroy. Studio4Art has maintained a specialized niche within the community, serving schools, families, and civic groups such as scout troops and dens. Studio4Art continues to advocate for children of all ages and their creative needs by offering affordable and quality hands-on classes, summer and holiday camps and workshops, and drop-in art sessions covering a variety of media from acrylic, watercolor, and oil painting, to sewing, wheel-throwing, clay hand-building, silk screening, block printing and mosaic-making.
When it's cold and rainy out, nothing makes your home cozier than baking something delicious. It's a fun activity that kids love to help with, it fills the house with a wonderful aroma, and you get a treat to eat when it's all finished. Chewy, chocolatey brownies are a perfect choice. They're easy to make, tasty, and we don't know anyone who doesn't like them
While there are plenty of quality mixes out there that you can use if pressed for time, making them from scratch really isn't all that more difficult. In fact, you probably already have most of the ingredients in your pantry and refrigerator. Making brownies from scratch also guarantees that you control what goes into them—no preservatives, chemicals, hydrogrenated oils, and other unnatural stuff.
Over time, I've been trying out different brownie recipes to see which one I like the best. Here's the simple, basic, brownie recipe that I came up with after quite a bit of trial and testing. It can be easily modified to make versions beyond your run-of-the-mill brownie, too.
Looking for something to do with your playgroup on a rainy day? Bring your playgroup down to the Magic Bus Music Studio in Novato for 30 minutes of singing, dancing, and instruments for newborns to 4 years. Cost is $10 per child. There is a minimum 6 children and a maximum of 12 per playgroup per session. If you're hungry after your musical playdate, Round Table Pizza with the Merlin's Magical Kingdom play area is right across the parking lot. Call Melissa to schedule your next musical playgroup at the Magic School Bus at (415) 721-1929 or email her at email@example.com.
San Francisco's Aquarium of the Bay offers free admission this week for Marin County residents, from Monday, January 25 through Thursday, January 28, 2010. Aquarium of the Bay is providing free admission in celebration of its recent transition into a nonprofit nature center. As the only aquarium dedicated to showcasing the diverse aquatic life of the San Francisco Bay and its watershed, Marin County residents are encouraged to come out and meet their underwater neighbors.
To get free admission to the Aquarium of the Bay, Marin County residents must present one proof of residency: a valid driver's license or ID card with Marin County address, utility bill, or a bank statement that includes your Marin County home address, along with photo ID.